Ruth Davidson has said her return to politics after maternity leave will “fire the starting gun” for the 2021 Holyrood elections.
The Scottish Conservative leader said “we are raring to go” ahead of her party’s conference in Aberdeen following the birth of her baby boy.
She has claimed the Tories can bring a divided Scotland back together.
Criticising the SNP for their focus on independence, Ms Davidson said her party would “talk about bringing Scotland back together after a decade of division”, concentrating on devolved issues such as health and education.
Speaking ahead of the party conference, Ms Davidson expressed confidence the Scottish Conservatives – currently the second-largest party in the parliament – could beat the SNP in the next Holyrood elections.
Ms Davidson said: “I’m looking forward to getting back to work and using this conference to fire the starting gun on the run-up to the 2021 Scottish elections.
“We believe we can beat the SNP at that election and this conference is our chance to set out how we want to improve Scotland in government.
“Last week, the SNP spent their entire conference focusing on independence, more constitutional division and a chaotic plan to ditch the pound.
“By contrast, we want to use our conference to talk about how we can deliver for Scotland in the here and now.”
She added: “That means focusing on things that matter most – a stronger economy, better educational standards and improved public services.
“We are raring to go with plenty of fresh ideas on how to make Scotland a better country for all of us.”
Turning to Nicola Sturgeon’s plans for another referendum, she added: “Scotland has now had nearly 10 years of constitutional division.
“A second independence referendum would only mean that we would begin a second decade with the focus on what divides us as a country.
“It is time for Scotland to move forward, together.”